Former Huntingdon MP, Sir John Major, talks about how Queen will cope without Duke

Sir John spoke to the Andrew Marr show on Sunday to pay tribute to Prince Philip. 

Sir John spoke to the Andrew Marr show on Sunday to pay tribute to Prince Philip. - Credit: ARCHANT

Former Huntingdon MP, Sir John Major, has paid tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died at Windsor Castle, on Friday, April 9. He said he and Norma had received many messages of condolences from people living abroad who had never met the Duke, but wanted to pay tribute.

Sir John was interviewed on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning and spoke candidly about how he thinks the Queen will cope without her husband at her side. 

Sir John also said he hoped the "friction in the family" referring to the reported rift between Prince Harry and Prince William,  would be "ended as speedily as possible". 

"I hope it is possible to end any rift that may exist," he said.

"In many ways, the Queen is in a very lonely position as head of state, with a limited number of people to whom she can open her heart and speak with total frankness about things that could be reported by other people and thought indelicate," he said.

"Of the handful of people she could with frankly, her husband, Prince Philip, was the first one and that is why I am sure the Queen described her husband as her great stay and support. At times of difficulty, he was the person who was there. He was the person to whom she could unburden herself. When she was facing a sea of problems and may have been overwhelmed by what had to be done, having someone who understands that and can take part of the burden, someone who can share the decision-making and put their arms around you and say 'this is what I think' is a great support."

Andrew Marr asked Sir John how he thought the Queen would manage without the Duke at her side.

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He said: "Well it will be difficult, losing a spouse or partner is a very lonely time. The Queen and Prince Philip had 73 years of marriage together, that is extraordinary so it will be an enormous hole in her life. Firstly, I hope she will be given some time and space. She has earned the right to grieve in private with her family. 

"But after that, she will hear Prince Philip in her ear and know what he would have said in certain circumstances. The echo will always be there. The Queen is a stoic and remarkable public servant and I am sure she will return to her work."